Nurses post startling examples of what being 'recovered' from COVID-19 can look like
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Despite the fact that the U.S. has apparently tossed up its hands in resignation and decided that coronavirus was so last month, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. More than 110,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 in just the past three months. We have 5% of the world's population and a whopping 25% of the world's COVID-19 cases and deaths. (Is this the "so much winning "we were supposed to get tired of?)

The death toll is harrowing enough. but what we don't hear about as much is what happens to the people who get sick with COVID-19 and don't die. Once a person's symptoms have begun improving and they test negative twice for the virus, they are considered "recovered." But that's not even close to the whole story for many who wage a weeks- or months-long battle with this illness.

A nurse shared on Twitter how "recovered" doesn't mean what many of us think. Cherie Antoinette wrote:


"COVID 19 is the worst disease process I've ever worked with in my 8 years as an ICU nurse. When they say 'recovered' they don't tell you that that means you may need a lung transplant. Or that you may come back after d/c with a massive heart attack or stroke bc COVID makes your blood thick as hell. Or that you may have to be on oxygen for the rest of your life. COVID is designed to kill. It is a highly intelligent virus and it attacks everything. We will run out of resources if we don't continue to flatten the curve. I'm exhausted."

Another nurse chimed in about her own experience of catching the virus and how it impacted her at 24 years old.

"I am a nurse on a COVID floor, I caught it. I am a relatively healthy and could barely walk up a half flight of stairs. My blood pressure skyrocketed, chest pain was debilitating. I'm eight weeks out and still feeling the chest pain and shortness of breath. This is no joke," she wrote.

Other people added their own experiences:

"I'm just getting over a "mild" case after over two months. There's scarring in my lower right lung and my stomach and digestion are a mess like never before. But I'm coughing way less and can take walks again.

And, by the way, this is the third time in two months that I've 'gotten better'. I'm just hoping it's the last and it doesn't all come back AGAIN."

Many people report severe, lasting fatigue that lingers and returns in waves.

More nurses added to the chorus of those saying that what they've seen as they treat patients is downright scary.


And some are describing lasting symptoms even with cases that were considered "mild" or "moderate."

Cherie Antoinette responded to a woman who said she'd gone into acute kidney failure and acquired asthma, chronic cough and an irregular heartbeat, saying that most of her patients had the same issues. "I am traumatized working in this environment," she wrote.

She also shared a tweet she'd written back in March saying that people needed to be more concerned about the flu. After two months treating COVID patients, she's changed her tune.

It's true that many people either don't get symptoms or do get truly mild cases. But none of us knows how it's going to affect us. And because we don't get to go to COVID units or people's homes after they leave the hospital, we don't see how difficult many people's recoveries are or how long-lasting the impact can be.

As one healthcare worker wrote: "Without people actually seeing these scenes they honestly just don't believe it. The public believes as a whole that this only kills old people with heart problems or big complications."

Indeed, there's a whole lot of misinformation about the virus still floating around, from "it's no worse than the flu" to "it's all planned by Big Pharma and Bill Gates." Someone even asked Antoinette who paid her, as if the countless stories we're seeing from doctors, nurses and patients who have had first-hand experience with this virus are being paid to push an agenda. (Insert world's biggest eye roll here).

Some responded that most people do not have severe symptoms and chastised the nurse for fear-mongering. But it's not fear-mongering to state the truth that many people will suffer greatly from this disease, even if they don't die from it. It's not fear-mongering to point out that there's still so much that we don't know about how the virus works and why it ravages some people's bodies while leaving others virtually unscathed. It's not fear-mongering to share accounts from the front line workers who are the only ones who can tell us what COVID-19 is capable of.

We all need to continue to be diligent and careful, as the pandemic hasn't gone anywhere. As businesses and communities keep opening up, we still need to wear masks in public spaces, keep our distance from others as much as possible and take the virus seriously.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Among many notable moments in Joe Biden's presidential inauguration, Amanda Gorman's recitation of her original poem "The Hill We Climb" stood out as a punctuation mark on the day.

It's perhaps fitting that Gorman herself stands out in several ways. The 22-year-old former National Youth Poet Laureate is the youngest poet to compose and deliver an inaugural poem. Like Joe Biden, she struggled with a speech impediment as a child, which makes reciting her poetry in an event broadcast around the globe all the more impressive. But what's most striking in this moment is what she represents—the bright and hopeful future of America.

For four years, we've had an administration focused on reversing progress and taking the country backwards to a mythical era in which the country was better. The slogan "Make America Great Again" has always implied a yearning to return to some kind of ideal past—one which, in reality, didn't exist (unless you're actually into white supremacy). The U.S. was built on high ideals but has always grappled with the advancement of some at the expense of others, with the legacy of racism and sexism ever-present in our politics, and with injustice being inseparable from our imbalance of political power.

Today, though, we marked a distinct shift in that balance of power. We swore in our first female vice president, in addition to our first non-white vice president. And in adding the voice of a young, Black, female poet to artfully contextualize the occasion, we see an emphasis in leaning into that shift. In Amanda Gorman, we see an America looking to the future as we honestly assess our past.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.